Zendaya Embraced Her Inner Mermaid With a Wet Hair Look

She's the latest celebrity to try the trend.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Zendaya's latest press tour is once again proving her style never misses, in terms of fashion and beauty. She's spent the past few weeks promoting Dune: Part Two in everything from a futuristic knotted two-piece and glossy lip to a twisted white gown and a swept-back updo. Just last night, the star attended a photocall in Paris in another memorable match-up: a custom Louis Vuitton two-piece and a wet hair look with a dramatic, curved side part.

The wet hair look has taken hold on the red carpet recently, with celebrities from Megan Fox to Kylie Jenner trying styles that look fresh out of a shower. Per usual, Zendaya put her own spin on the trend by slicking her hair back in what appears to be a low bun that's tucked into the hood of her cropped, patterned top. Her side part also curves dramatically to the right before turning back inward again, and her edges are laid immaculately on her forehead and on both sides.


Up close, Zendaya's wet hair curved along a deep side part.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Zendaya's embrace of the wet hair look also nods to an emerging runway trend. For the fall 2024 season, several of the best beauty looks incorporate heavy hair gel for the appearance of soaked hair. Models at Helmut Lang and Coach, for example, had slick, near-wet gel at their roots that cascaded into dry, brushed out hair.

Zendaya on a red carpet with a wet hair look

From the side, Zendaya's baby hairs are placed to perfection.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Of course, celebrities aren't attending a photocall with drenched, dripping hair. Instead, there's a specific formula they follow for a mermaid-like look.

According to L'Oréal Paris, a wet hair moment involves working an even amount of high-shine gel into a head of damp hair. (Too wet, and the gel won't stick.) For a slicked-back rendition like Zendaya's that also incorporates your baby hairs, focus on the roots. Comb and style your hair in your look of choice, then apply a glossing spray on the lengths of your hair that could use extra shine. Finally, finish with a maximum hold hair spray to keep the style in place. You can also use an edge control gel and comb to give your baby hairs a bit of extra attention.

Below, everything you need to replicate the suave look.

Try the Wet Hair Look

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, gabrielleulubay.medium.com. Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at @suburban.graffiti.art